A title challenge is the aim

Centre back Ismail Yakuba is Hemel Towns latest new signing
Centre back Ismail Yakuba is Hemel Towns latest new signing

Vastly experienced defender Ismail Yakuba has become Hemel Town’s sixth new

signing of the off-season.

Yakubu has amassed more than 400 appearances in his career, with the majority spent in the Football League with Barnet, AFC Wimbledon and Newport County.

He spent last season in the Vanarama National League with Woking and although he had offers from several clubs, boss Dean Brennan said he is delighted that he has chosen to play at Vauxhall Road for the 2017/18 season.

The centre-half joins a new defensive unit with leadership and experience for the coming campaign. “Everyone at Hemel welcomes Ismail to the club and along with our other new signings, we wish him every success with the Tudors,” the club said on its website.

Yakubu joins no-nonsense centre back Tom Hamblin, 33-year-old experienced defender Phil Walsh, 21-year-old creative midfielder Taylor Miles, popular former keeper Laurie Walker, and 29-year-old defender Joe Howe as new faces at the club as well as eight players re-signing.

Meanwhile, Brennan and coach Stuart Maynard spoke with the Gazette’s Allan Mitchell last week to discuss the upcoming season. They are confident they can make a challenge for the title this season and seem focused on getting it right.

Three further signings are imminent, they said, and the aim is to have a more stable squad with few, if any, loanees.

Striker Charlie Sheringham, son of Teddy, is still a target, they added. He scored eight league goals in his four-month loan spell with the Tudors from Ebbsfleet United last season. He is currently on holiday and is expected to have a trail in Thailand but if that falls through, Hemel could still make a move.

They admitted they made some poor signings last time out. Some players who they thought would bring a positive attitude ended up bringing the exact opposite. The poor start to last season was all down to their recruitment and they take full responsibility for that.

The players have volunteered for an extra night’s training in pre-season, in a bid to be in prime condition for the new campaign.

n Read the interview on p61.